Hampstead (London)

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View of Holly Hill and the entrance to Hampstead Underground Station (right)

Hampstead is a London borough in the Camden borough and one of the preferred residential areas in the English capital .

No other place in the UK has more millionaires. This new clientele is increasingly displacing "Hampstead's traditional intellectuals" who "smoked pipes, wrote books (which often did not sell) and campaigned for nuclear disarmament."


Its original name was Hamestede , the old English name for the current English word homestead , which means something like "small settlement".


Apart from finds that prove that hunters lived in the area of ​​today's Hampstead as early as around seven thousand years before Christ , the foundation stone for the later village was only laid around eight thousand years later through the construction of a small settlement.

However, Hampstead's development did not begin until the 17th and 18th centuries. The discovery of the local iron water and its health-promoting effects played a decisive role in this, so that the place developed into a popular spa . Although Hampstead has not been a health resort since the late 18th century , it has retained its status as a popular London suburb for affluent clientele who wanted to be close to the amenities of the big city while at the same time preferring to be away from the noise and dirt to live.

Another growth spurt began in the second half of the 19th century after Hampstead had received a train station and was thus connected to London by rail. Since 1907 Hampstead has also been connected to the London Underground network. It was incorporated into London as early as 1888.

Altitude record

Immediately in front of Heath House, at the junction of North End Way and Heath Street, is the highest point in London: it is 134 meters above sea ​​level and six meters above the Cross of St. Paul .

Known residents

Cannon Hall after a drawing by AR Quinton from 1911.

A large number of well-known personalities, mainly from the artistic scene, have settled in Hampstead over the past centuries and no other London borough has so many blue plaques .

Hardly any other artistic family was as connected to Hampstead as the Du Maurier family. In 1870, the then Punch employee and later writer George du Maurier moved to house number 27 on Church Row , where his son Gerald was born in 1873 . George du Maurier then moved with his family to New Grove House on Hampstead Grove . In his first novel, Peter Ibbetson, he made connections between Hampstead and Passy , the place where he grew up: “Hampstead was my Passy - the Leg-of-Mutton Pond my Mare d'Auteuil; Richmond was my Saint-Cloud , with Kew Gardens instead of Bois de Boulogne ; and Hampton Court made a beautiful Versailles . "

His son Gerald moved into Cannon Hall on Cannon Place in Hampstead in 1916, which he lived in until his death on April 11, 1934. His daughter Daphne grew up there and lived with her husband on Hampsteader Well Road in the 1930s. Her father Gerald and grandfather George are buried in the cemetery at Hampstead Parish Church on Church Row.

Poet and writer

Keats House (left) and Heath Branch Public Library (right).

In addition to John Keats (he first lived at number 46 on Well Walk and then in what is now Keats House on Keats Grove ), one of the most important poets of English Romanticism, a number of other writers and poets lived in Hampstead. The best known include John le Carré (Gayton Crescent No. 1), DH Lawrence (Willoughby Road No. 30 and Byron Villas No. 1, The Vale of Health), Katherine Mansfield (East Heath Road No. 17), Edgar Wallace ( Vale Lodge, The Vale of Health) and HG Wells ( Church Row No. 17) as well as the Nobel Prize laureates in 1913 and 1932, Rabindranath Thakur (Villas on the Heath No. 3, The Vale of Health) and John Galsworthy (Grove Lodge, Admiral's Walk). Among them are also still Thomas Masaryk , the 1918 (Platt's Lane) first president of Czechoslovakia was elected and exercised this office until 1935, as well as the children's author Eleanor Farjeon that the house number 20 on Perrin's Walk of 1920 until her death in 1965 for lived in for 45 years.


The most famous painters who had a residence in Hampstead include, besides John Constable ( Well Walk No. 40, Downshire Hill No. 25 and Lower Terrace No. 2), Roger Fry (Willow Road No. 22), Kate Greenaway ( Frognal No. 39), John Heartfield (Downshire Hill No. 47), James McNeill (Heath End House, Spaniards Road), George Romney (Romney's House, Holly Bush Hill) as well as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Lizzie Siddal , who live together in Spring Cottage lived on Downshire Hill.


Well-known actors from the acting scene who lived in Hampstead include (in alphabetical order) Peggy Ashcroft (Hill Mansions, Downshire Hill ), Alan Bates (Lavender Cottage, The Vale of Health), Richard Burton - at times with Elizabeth Taylor - ( Squire's Mount), Marty Feldman (The Logs, Well Road), Ricky Gervais , Jeremy Irons with Sinéad Cusack ( Well Walk No. 26), Peter O'Toole with Siân Phillips (Heath Street No. 98), Paul Robeson (The Chestnuts , Branch Hill), Peter Sellers (Northwood Lodge, Oak Hill Park), Sarah Siddons (Capo di Monte, Windmill Hill) and Berlin-born Conrad Veidt (Platt's Lane No. 69).


Some of the most famous personalities from the music scene who resided in Hampstead include singers Boy George , Sam Smith and Sting ( Frognal No. 108) and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason ( Downshire Hill ). The conductors Thomas Beecham (Bellmoor, East Heath Road) and William Walton (Hollyberry Lane) as well as the ballerinas Tamara Karsawina (Frognal No. 108) and Anna Pawlowa also lived there . The latter lived in the Ivy House on Inverforth Close from 1912 until her death in 1931, which overtook her on her farewell tour in The Hague . In addition, the was here Hello guitarist and singer Keith Marshall born.


Famous Hampstead-based politicians include four former UK Prime Ministers : Herbert Henry Asquith ( Keats Grove No. 12), William Grenville (Littleworth, North End Way), Ramsay MacDonald (Frognal House, Frognal No. 103) and William Pitt (Pitt House, North End Avenue). Michael Foot (Rosslyn Hill, Pilgrim's Lane), who chaired the Labor Party from 1980 to 1983 , and Charles de Gaulle also lived here . The future President of France found refuge with his family in Frognal House on Frognal (Street) from 1940 to 1942.


Freud Museum (garden view)

In addition to the founder of psychoanalysis , Sigmund Freud , who moved into house number 20 at Maresfield Gardens in 1938, which his youngest daughter Anna lived in until 1982 and which was converted into a museum in 1986 , the physicist JD Bernal ( Downshire Hill No. 35), the biologist Peter Medawar (Downshire Hill No. 25), the mathematician Karl Pearson (Well Road No. 7) and the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie (Cannon Place No. 5 and Well Road) in Hampstead.

Other notable residents

Newspaper magnate Alfred Harmsworth (Pitt House, North End Avenue), secret agent George Blake, and architects Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Ernő Goldfinger lived on Willow Road. Goldfinger's concrete architecture made itself unpopular with some of the residents of Hampstead. One of his greatest critics was the writer Ian Fleming , who is said to have avenged himself with the name Goldfinger for the villain in his eighth book Goldfinger in the James Bond novel series. The name of the architect , who is unpopular with many residents , gained international fame primarily through the subsequent filming of the movie of the same name, Goldfinger .

The first Bishop of New Zealand and later Bishop of Lichfield , George Augustus Selwyn was born in Hampstead.

Local public transport

  • Hampstead Heath railway station


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. David Wade ( The Telegraph ): Whatever happened to Hampstead Man? (English; article from May 8, 2004)
  2. Anna Dubuis ( Evening Standard ): Boy George locked in battle with council planners over plans to expand his Hampstead mansion (English; article from March 2, 2015)
  3. Natalie Corner ( Daily Mirror ): Sam Smith has bought a posh house right next door to Boy George (English; article from May 30, 2015)
  4. Freud Museum London website (English)